Treatment and Prevention

Diabetes in a child: how to treat?

Diabetes in children is included in the group of severe chronic diseases. The disease has characteristic signs and symptoms, on the basis of which the diagnosis is determined. Childhood diabetes is the second most common chronic disease.

This disease causes great concern, rather than pathologically hung sugar in the blood of adults.

Treatment for childhood diabetes has long-term and short-term goals. The child must fully grow, develop and socialize. The long-term goal is to prevent severe vascular complications.

Symptoms and manifestations of diabetes in children

Parents need to pay attention to the behavior and some features of the child, in time to replace the onset of diabetes.

This disease develops rapidly, if the necessary manipulations are not carried out in time. If left untreated, the child faces diabetic coma.

If one or more symptoms appear, you should immediately consult a doctor. It is necessary to appoint a series of studies that will reveal the features of the diagnosis.

Children may have such signs:

  • vomiting and nausea
  • constant thirst and dry mouth,
  • rapid deterioration of vision
  • frequent urination and urine stickiness,
  • severe fatigue, weakness, irritability,
  • excessive appetite for weight loss.

Symptoms of childhood diabetes can be typical and atypical. The latter often notice parents. These include child complaints of fatigue, headache, and declining performance.

Typical symptoms of diabetes in children:

  1. urinary incontinence (polyuria). Parents mistakenly take this phenomenon for nocturnal enuresis, common in younger children,
  2. painful feeling of thirst. You can drink up to 10 liters of fluid per day, however, this does not reduce the level of dryness in the child’s mouth,
  3. polyphagia or a sharp weight loss on the background of a strong appetite,
  4. skin itch, formation of ulcers,
  5. dry skin
  6. after urination, itching is felt in the genitals,
  7. the amount of urine increases (over two liters per day). Urine mostly light color. The study shows acetone in urine and its high specific gravity. Sugar may appear, which should not be normal,
  8. a blood test on an empty stomach detects blood glucose levels above 120 mg.

If there is a suspicion of diabetes mellitus, it is important to carry out timely diagnosis and qualified treatment. There are many causes of this disease. the main ones are:

  • Genetic predisposition. Diabetes mellitus suffered from close relatives of the child. With a probability of 100% diabetes will be in a child whose parents suffer from this disease. Diabetes can also occur in newborns. It is necessary to control the level of glucose in the blood of pregnant women, since the placenta well absorbs glucose, which contributes to its accumulation in the tissues and organs of the fetus.
  • Viruses. Chickenpox, rubella, viral hepatitis and parotitis significantly harm the pancreas. In this situation, the cells of the immune system begin to destroy insulin cells. A previous infection leads to the formation of diabetes mellitus with hereditary predisposition.
  • Excessive food intake. Too much appetite causes weight gain. First of all, obesity occurs due to the consumption of foods with easily digestible carbohydrates, such as sugar, chocolate, sweet flour products. As a result of this diet increases the pressure on the pancreas. Gradually depleted insulin cells, over time, its production ceases.
  • Insufficient physical activity. Passive lifestyle leads to excess weight. Systematic physical activity stimulates the cells responsible for the production of insulin. Thus, the concentration of sugar is normal.
  • Frequent colds. The immune system, which is faced with an infection, begins to quickly produce antibodies to fight the disease. If such situations often recur, the system begins to wear out, and immunity is depressed. As a result, antibodies, even in the absence of a target virus, are also produced by eliminating their own cells. There is a malfunction of the pancreas, so insulin production decreases.

Complications of diabetes in children

Complications of diabetes can develop with any type of illness. Thus, the quality of life is significantly reduced and the child becomes disabled.

Due to improper treatment, the child may develop a fatty degeneration of the liver. This pathology is characterized by a thickening of the liver and a violation of the flow of bile. Biliary dyskinesia can also form.

Diabetic angiopathy is the pathology of small vessels. At the initial stage, this process is reversible with proper treatment. As a rule, the first manifestations of pathology occur 15 years after the onset of diabetes. With insufficient compensation and irregular monitoring of the child’s condition, angiopathy occurs 3-5 years after the onset of diabetes.

Manifestations of angiopathy:

  1. changes in retinal vessels - diabetic retinopathy. In humans, visual acuity decreases, leading to retinal detachment and blindness.
  2. changes in the vessels of the kidneys - diabetic nephropathy. Leads to the formation of renal failure.
  3. pathology of small vessels of the legs. Disturbed blood flow in the legs, especially in the feet. Trophic ulcers begin to develop, there may be a cooling of the feet and pain during exercise. In advanced cases, gangrene appears.
  4. changes in brain vessels and the development of diabetic encephalopathy: mental, intellectual and emotional disorders.
  5. deformation of small vessels of other organs and tissues with typical symptoms.

Another complication of diabetes in childhood is polyneuropathy, that is, damage to the peripheral nerves.

Pathology is characterized by a decrease in sensitivity in the limbs, weakness in the legs increases and gait is disturbed.

Diagnostic procedures

If the child has symptoms of diabetes, you should measure the sugar glucose meter. In the absence of a home glucometer, a blood sugar test should be taken at a medical facility, after eating or on an empty stomach.

In most cases, parents ignore the existing symptoms in the child, not suspecting that diabetes can affect children. Most often, people go to the doctor only when the child begins to faint.

If an illness is suspected, a sugar curve test or glucose tolerance test should be carried out.

Differential diagnosis is the definition of the type of diabetes. Thus, you can find out 1 or 2 type of diabetes in a child. Type 2 diabetes is rarely diagnosed in children. As a rule, it is detected in adolescents with obesity or overweight.

The second type of diabetes often appears between the ages of 12 and older. Manifestations of this disease appear gradually. Type 1 diabetes in children appears more often and immediately shows the characteristic symptoms.

In case of type 1 ailment antibodies are detected in the blood to:

  • cells of the islets of Langerhans,
  • glutamate decarboxylase,
  • tyrosine phosphatase,
  • insulin.

This confirms that the immune system is struggling with the beta cells of the pancreas. In diabetes of the second type, there are no such antibodies in the blood, but in many cases high insulin levels are recorded after eating and on an empty stomach.

Also, in case of a disease of the 2nd type, tests in a child show insulin resistance, that is, the sensitivity of tissues to the action of insulin is reduced.

Most of the children who suffer from type 2 diabetes mellitus, the disease is diagnosed as a result of passing urine and blood tests during examination for the presence of other ailments.

About 20% of adolescent children with type 2 diabetes note increased thirst, frequent urination, and weight loss.

Symptoms correspond to the usual acute manifestations of type 1 disease.

Treatment of childhood diabetes

There are several types of diabetes in children and treatment involves an integrated approach, and stationary conditions are required at the initial stage. Further dispensary observation is necessary.

Diabetes should be treated by achieving maximum compensation for the pathological process. It is also necessary to carry out prevention of complications.

The main components of treatment:

  • health food,
  • insulin therapy,
  • special exercise,
  • compliance with the established mode of the day.

Dietary nutrition ensures the normal development of the child, so the energy value of food and the content of its main components (carbohydrates, fats, proteins) vary according to the age of the child.

Treatment of diabetes in children involves the exclusion from the diet of foods with carbohydrates and sugars. It is necessary to strictly control the amount of flour, cereal and sweet products in the daily diet. The amount of fat in the treatment of diabetes should be limited moderately, especially if they are of animal origin.

Proteins are assigned according to age requirement. It is necessary to eat food 5-6 times a day and be sure to properly distribute the amount of carbohydrates for each meal.

This provision must be respected, since there is a need to prescribe insulin in the vast majority of diabetic children. Diet can be used as an independent method of treatment in children with less pronounced or latent forms of the disease.

Insulin therapy is the main treatment for most varieties of childhood diabetes. The cure can occur as a result of taking insulin with a different duration of action, as well as peak efficiency at different times of the day. Short-acting drugs are eight-hour simple insulins, as well as suinsulin.

The average duration of action, namely 10-14 hours is for such drugs:

  1. insulin B,
  2. amorphous zinc insulin suspension,
  3. insulin-Rapitard

For long-acting insulins with a duration of 20-36 hours, include:

  • insulin-protamine suspension (action maximum in the first half of the day),
  • zinc insulin suspension,
  • suspension of crystalline zinc insulin.

Diabetes can be cured with short-acting drugs and switching to long-acting insulins in individually selected dosages. Required doses are calculated by sugar and urinary equivalent. For these purposes, determines the loss of sugar in the urine during the day according to the daily glucosuric profile. The introduction of 1 IU of insulin for every 5 grams of sugar that is excreted in the urine is shown.

The total dose of insulin is divided into three injections that need to be done half an hour before a meal, according to the amount of sugar in each meal and the amount of undigested sugar during this time of day.

Also used another method of calculation in the treatment of symptoms of childhood diabetes. Per day, the child is given 0.25-0.5 U of insulin per kilogram of the patient’s body weight, depending on the severity of the violation. The agent of prolonged action should be selected according to the indicators of the glucose and glycemic profile.

The insulin preparation to neutralize the symptoms of diabetes mellitus is administered subcutaneously under certain conditions that contribute to the prevention of post-insulin lipodystrophy. We are talking about the disappearance or increase of subcutaneous fat in the areas of injections - lipomas, lipoatrophy.

These conditions include:

  1. Insulin should be administered in turn to different areas of the body: hips, shoulders, buttocks, abdomen, lower parts of the shoulder blades.
  2. The drug should be heated to body temperature.
  3. After treating the skin, the alcohol should evaporate,
  4. Need to use a sharp needle,
  5. The tool is introduced slowly in the treatment of symptoms of diabetes in children.

Local allergic reactions to insulin in the form of skin redness and infiltration at the injection site may occur. Also, in some cases, rash and swelling appear.

Such manifestations are rare, in this case, you need to change the drug and pick a new one.


Any of the existing preventive methods does not have proven effectiveness. Currently, it is impossible to prevent this serious disease. When planning a pregnancy, expectant parents should do genetic testing to determine the likelihood of diabetes in their unborn child.

It is also recommended to take a blood test for antibodies. This study is for informational purposes only and does not affect the curability of the disease. If family members were ill with type 1 diabetes, the family should be transferred to a permanent low-carbohydrate diet before the first manifestations of the disease.

Such a diet will protect beta cells from being eliminated by the immune system. The effect of the diet is confirmed by many patients. Scientists are working hard to create effective preventive methods.

Diabetes is curable only theoretically, it is important to keep alive the beta cells in children who have recently been diagnosed. Care must be taken to protect beta cells from the human immune system.

If a child has a genetic test that has a high risk of disease or antibodies have been detected in the blood, the attending physician may suggest participation in clinical trials. You must be wary of experimental research and treatment.

Risk factors can be:

  • Viral infections, for example, Coxsackie virus, Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, rubella virus.
  • Reduced concentration of vitamin D in the blood. It is known that vitamin D can soothe the immune system, reducing the risk of developing insulin-dependent diabetes.
  • Early consumption of cow's milk by the child. Such milk increases the risk of developing type 1 diabetes.
  • Drinking water contaminated with nitrates.
  • Early feeding of the infant child with cereal products.

Most of the factors of diabetes mellitus of the first type can not be eliminated, however, some of them can be controlled by parents. Bait baby should begin only after the approval of the doctor.

It is best for the baby to eat only breast milk for up to 6 months. Doctors believe that bottle feeding increases the risk of developing insulin-dependent diabetes, however, this has not yet been confirmed officially.

It is important to constantly care about the purity of drinking water. A sterile environment cannot be created; however, care should be taken to protect the child from viruses.

Vitamin D can be given to a child with the permission of a physician, since overdose is undesirable.


The use of medicinal herbs complements the treatment of diabetes. It is worth remembering that traditional medicine has a secondary value. Such therapy will not replace antidiabetic agents and insulin.

The use of herbs in diabetes does not exclude the need to adhere to a dietary diet. Using dosages for adults, you can independently calculate the dosage for the child.

For therapeutic infusion of blueberry leaf, you need to brew a large spoonful of dry blueberries with a glass of hot water.Means about 45 minutes to insist in a warm place, after which it is filtered. It is necessary to wait until the infusion has cooled. It is drunk 250 ml three times a day in small sips.

To make a healing decoction of burdock roots, you need to pour one small spoonful of chopped raw material with one glass of boiling water and boil in a water bath for 10 minutes. Means infused for half an hour, then filtered. It is consumed in 100 ml several times a day.

To make an infusion of bean pods, you need to pour 15 g of bean pods with a liter of water and boil for two hours. Drink 150 ml up to four times a day.

To prepare a herbal diet for diabetes, you should take one part:

  • blueberry leaves
  • strawberry herbs,
  • bean pods flaps,
  • mint leaves.

Two large spoons of raw materials brew in 550 ml of hot water, insist 45 minutes, then strain and drink 250 ml per day in three doses.

Another one herbal tea contains:

  1. two parts of horsetail,
  2. one piece of juniper fruit,
  3. one piece of birch leaves,
  4. five pieces of bean pods flaps,
  5. one part of burdock root.

Brew one large spoonful of collecting 250 ml of boiling water. After that, the agent is infused for about an hour, filtered and used in 150 ml twice a day.

About the principles of treatment of diabetes in children, Dr. Komarovsky will tell in the video in this article.

Watch the video: Treatment and Prevention of Diabetes in Children (September 2019).